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Today I step into my 22nd year on earth.


I decided to spend it with my family on a couch bundled up watching my favorite movies and eating my favorite food (pizza). 

Stepping into 22 feels different, but a good kind of different. If you would have told me that I would JUST be sitting at home on the couch eating junk food I would have rolled over on the floor and laughed my ass off. Ever since I could remember I would plan my birthday 6 months in advance and I was ALWAYS doing something. Either I was having a party, out with friends, or at a lounge. I was always somewhere doing something. BUT the one thing I was not doing was being PRESENT. 

This year, I decided to be more present and relax in my own home. I have been living in my apartment for four months now and it feels good to have a place to call mine. I have created a very peaceful and tranquil environment that I rarely like to escape from. As I reflect and look back at my past birthdays and where I am currently I realize that I am beyond BLESSED and GRATEFUL. I have been given the one thing a lot of people around the world are denied and that is time. I have been given another chance to live, breathe, love, and experience. 

Life is not promised to you or I. It is the one thing that can be easily taken away. 

Today, I remember a friend of mine who was taken from this world at a young age to gun violence. A man who will never know what it is like to kiss his wife good night or take his daughter to school. Last month he would have celebrated his 22nd birthday. He will never have the opportunity to call a place home. He will never have the opportunity to call his mom and say “I love you”. He will never get the opportunity to hug his brothers or sisters. They will never get the opportunity to see his face in the morning and at night. 

This birthday is bittersweet for me because I decided to enjoy the people that I love most and spend time with them. I have been struggling with my time management and neglecting family time. I am currently working to find the balance. Time is the one thing that we cannot get back once it is gone. My friend had so much life to live and so much to explore. Now, he will never know. 

I urge you to love on your family and friends a little more. Use the moments and time that you have wisely. You and I are not promised the next minute or second. 

Today, I celebrate my friend. This is for you Red! 

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